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Steelers loss vs. Colts knocks Pittsburgh down NFL power rankings

The Pittsburgh Steelers are 7-7 and trending out of the AFC playoff hunt, but where does that place them in the NFL power rankings?

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Head coach Mike Tomlin and T.J. Watt #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers walk off the field after a loss to the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 16, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are 7-7 heading into Week 16 of the NFL season. After losing to the Indianapolis Colts, the Steelers are currently on the outside looking in for the AFC playoff picture, but where do they stand in power rankings across the internet?

Here’s a look at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ standing in NFL power rankings ahead of Week 16. writer Eric Edholm ranked the Steelers at No. 20, six spots lower than last week.

Saturday’s loss was pretty much a deathblow to their season, even if we should have known which way the wind was blowing after back-to-back home losses to 2-10 teams. This might temporarily boost Kenny Pickett’s stock; after all, everything started really spiraling out of control after he got hurt. But I don’t think Pickett was going to rescue this team because his limitations were part of the Steelers’ offensive issues to begin with. The defense might have carried this team to the seven wins, but it’s falling apart at the wrong time, especially in the secondary. This season started with playoff hopes, but there was always a smoke-and-mirrors quality to the wins and a stark reality in the losses, including three early-season beatdowns and three late-season breakdowns.

The Athletic’s Josh Kendall at No. 20, one spot lower than last week.

Surprise: George Pickens is still on the team

The second-year wide receiver’s attitude has been enough of a problem that coach Mike Tomlin felt the need to tell the team’s official website that he and Pickens had “a great meeting” last week. It must not have been that great because Pickens had two embarrassing clips surface from Saturday’s game — one on which he put hardly any effort into a run block and one on which he seemed to run away from the opposing ball carrier after an interception. He leads the team with 52 catches for 814 yards, but it might not be worth all this.

Bleacher Report had the Steelers at No. 21, no change from last week.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have never had a losing season with Mike Tomlin as head coach. But the team also hasn’t won a playoff game since the 2016 season, and it doesn’t appear that latter streak will be ending in 2023.

The Steelers have had all kinds of problems offensively this year, and Week 15 was no exception—Pittsburgh had just 216 yards of offense, converted four of 12 third-down tries, turned the ball over three times and benched quarterback Mitch Trubisky in favor of Mason Rudolph late.

The problem is that there’s no quick fix to Pittsburgh’s problems. It’s not like the Steelers were moving the ball before Kenny Pickett got hurt. The team ranks 27th in total offense and 28th in scoring. They struggle to run the ball consistently. The quarterback position is a major weakness.

Until the weakness is addressed, the Steelers are who they are—a mediocre football team.